Document Control, Document Management and Content Management, Interchangeable terms?
There is a wonderful Indian Poem about a group of blind men describing an elephant. One man grabs the writhing trunk and exclaims that it is like a snake. Another man puts his arms around the massive leg of the animal and confidently describes it as a tree trunk. The last man runs his hands along the large flapping ears and declares that the other two men are clearly wrong and the elephant is birdlike with wings. They were all feeling the same animal; the only thing that differed for each of them was perspective. This similarity always comes to mind when I find myself discussing the differences between document control, document management and content management with other quality and business professionals. In these discussions the differentiator is almost always perspective. Opinions and definitions run the gamut from no discernible difference to resolute beliefs that each of these are mission critical systems that do different but equally important functions. In most cases, I see clusters of systems that address different elements of what is required but in a very constrained fashion resulting in silos of information that do not communicate with each other. On the other end of the scale, I see companies doggedly attempting to utilize massive systems that are frequently difficult to navigate. These implementations can easily result in the users that most need to locate information to reliably do their job, becoming mired in a navigation nightmare, sometimes giving up and working around system controls to print and develop local shortcuts creating their own web of compliance issues and risk.Read More